Time alone

Is it me, or does it seem like these days we're always moving at light speed? We're "chasing the dream" or "running down the dream" or "chasing after rainbows" or "running errands".
We're so busy running from this to that, trying to live like we were dying and leave no stone unturned, that sometimes the one thing we need in our lives is the one thing we run away from: the quiet.

I have an unscheduled "night off" tomorrow night where my daughters have plans but I do not. I have spent the past couple of days trying to figure out what it is I'm going to do to fill up that time: should I go to a movie, go to an art show, go to dinner? Should I go grocery shopping or get my nails done or go to a book store? Is there something on my "to do" list that I can cross off, that I haven't had time to get to, that will make this time off the most productive? And then it occurred to me: what if I did nothing on my night "off"? What if I got a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, grabbed my laptop, grabbed a good book and sat and read or wrote or let my mind wander or stared off into the distance? What if I kept my unscheduled night actually unscheduled? What if I made it so that whatever tickled my fancy at that exact moment became exactly what I would do?

Ah, if only it were that simple. A planner by nature, it's just these kind of unscheduled nights that make me uncomfortable. It's just this kind of unstructured activity that makes me nervous and twitchy and itching to make at least one plan for the night. But I'm going to resist. The only thing I'm going to plan is that I make no plans.

My need to plan is not because I don't want to be alone. I'm used to being alone, doing things on my own, for myself, by myself. Being alone and being lonely are not the same. I think sometimes people assume that if you are by yourself you must be unhappy; for me, that's not the case. Sure, I get lonely, but the reality is that (most of the time) I enjoy my time by myself; however as a single mom, the time I do have to myself is always structured. Sitting by myself and with myself to think and feel and see whatever comes up in the moment seems like a strange exotic land that I want to and need to visit. Being quiet and alone is my plan for tomorrow night. I'm a little curious and a little worried and a little hopeful and a little intrigued about just what the night will offer. 3 hours. Just me. Stay tuned.

This is the life.